Singer Elle King Talks PTSD

Elle King

Recently the 27 year old singer and daughter of comedian Rob Schneider opened up about her recent struggles with post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Using her public instagram account, Elle King posted a photo along with some lengthy text discussing her decision to seek mental health treatment for her issues.

In the post she said that she made the choice to begin talking with a doctor about her experiences with PTSD and compared her mental health issues to “a trip on LSD”. King said that the choice to seek help was one that she had been putting off for a long time for fear of opening up the pain from the past that had been hidden for so long.

She eventually realized that prolonging the decision to get treatment would ultimately make her situation worse. The choice to seek help at first made her feel like her “life was over” but she is beginning to work with a doctor and see some improvement.

King’s Early Life

Elle King’s real name is Tanner Elle Schneider and she was born to her father, the well known comedian and actor, Rob Schneider and her mother, a former model named London King. Her parents divorced and her mother remarried, raising Elle in southern Ohio along with her stepfather Justin Tesa. Elle remained in contact with her father, making her acting debut in his popular movie “Deuce Bigalow”.

Elle King began playing guitar at the age of 13 and credits her stepfather with inspiring her to become a musician by introducing her to the music of female rockstars like the Donnas and the Runaways. In her teenage years she began gigging around New York City and eventually was signed to RCA records to release her debut single “Good to Be a Man”.

She has said that she chose to use her mother’s name “King” rather than “Schneider” to differentiate herself rather than be known as a celebrity’s daughter. King’s music career began to gain traction as her music was chosen as a theme song for VH1’s “Mob Wives Chicago” series.

Personal Struggles and Divorce

Her breakthrough came when she released her new album “Love Stuff” along with the single “Exes and Ohs” which reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also received two grammy nominations for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song. In spite of her success, King has had personal struggles that are still not fully understood by the public.

Elle King was dating a man named Andrew Ferguson for a few weeks when they suddenly got engaged on a sailing trip. The two had planned an elaborate wedding but the event was called off abruptly and they instead eloped in February 2016. At the time Elle King had posted online that she “skipped out” on the wedding choosing instead to go to an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

Later an incident occurred in the couple’s home that may have contributed to their eventual divorce. Police had responded to a domestic call in which Ferguson reportedly attacked King, grabbing her by the neck and allegedly threatening to kill her. Police observed that there were marks on King’s neck and arms which revealed a physical altercation had in fact occurred.

However, King reportedly did not want to press charges saying that the two were partying and that things had gotten out of hand. Ferguson claimed that he had thrown King on the bed to stop her from hitting her head against the wall. The district attorney did not move forward with the case

Recovering from Mental Health Problems

When the two decided to separate after only a year of marriage in May 2017, King wrote on Instagram that Ferguson was the “greatest love of my life” and her “best friend”. Only a few months after her divorce, King posted the recent photo and caption discussing her mental health issues.

Although it is unclear whether King’s issues with depression or PTSD are related to her unstable marriage or any issues with domestic violence, she has recently become more candid about her own inner demons.

Fans do not yet know what has caused her PTSD as King has only recently revealed the issue which she may have kept secret from the public for some time. As the singer receives treatment from a professional, she may be more willing to open up about the details of her problems and perhaps even reveal more about the cause and symptoms of her disorder.

For now she says that she is trying to make healthier choices for herself and love herself as much as possible. King appeared to be optimistic in her post, certain that she would get the help that she needs to be in a more stable state of mind in the future.

AA and Nicotine Addiction

Alcoholics Anonymous sets up strict rules regarding abstinence from alcohol consumption, encouraging all members to avoid drinking permanently. AA has proven to be a highly successful program for people to end their addiction to alcohol but the single focus of the program chooses not to address outside issues with other substances such as nicotine.

It is very common among AA members to continue smoking heavily even long after they have quit drinking to help them stave off any cravings for alcohol. The same issue affects those in NA or narcotics anonymous where members also tend to smoke cigarettes to help them deal with their drug issues.

While cigarettes may be effective as a temporary fix for alcoholics in recovery, the long term health issues associated with nicotine are serious problem in the AA community. It is projected that nearly three quarters of a million members of alcoholics anonymous will die from tobacco-related causes due to the heavy cigarette consumption typical of the program.

High Rates of Tobacco Use in Treatment

Evidence among existing members shows that most believe their nicotine consumption is a much less important issue compared to their alcohol or drug addictions. In most cases, they see their cigarette habit as something to be addressed later rather than give up both alcohol and nicotine simultaneously.

In New York for example, studies have revealed that 92% of those admitted to substance abuse treatment programs are also dependent on nicotine. Comparatively, the rate of smoking among the general population in New York is lower than 20% according to recent data. Similar rates of nicotine dependence in addiction treatment centers are found in other states throughout the country.

Many alcoholics or drug abusers do not consider the health effects of their nicotine habit while in recovery. Research shows that people with substance abuse issues have a four times greater risk of dying from tobacco use than the risk for the general population. These deaths related to tobacco use can result in up to 25 years lost from expected life spans.

Addressing Tobacco Use

While rates of tobacco use in addiction treatment are alarmingly high, they remain an issue even after individuals complete their stay in rehab. Of those in twelve step programs or people maintaining alcohol abstinence within the recovery community, as many as 60% are still addicted to nicotine.

Most individuals in these programs are experiencing success in their ability to quit alcohol use but unfortunately are endangering their health by continuing to smoke. AA members may be unaware of these issues as addiction treatment programs may not address their smoking or may fail to view quitting nicotine as an important part of their recovery.

The origin of the twelve step program may never have included smoking in its rules and practices because they were not aware of the health issues associated with tobacco at that time. Even programs today are not fully aware of the scope of the problem and continue to be reluctant to address nicotine addiction in their recovery steps.

AA Beliefs Regarding Cigarettes

Many members involved in AA believe that the sole focus of the program always has and always should be about alcohol. Those in the program have experienced most of their problems due to their alcohol addiction and feel that nicotine is simply a side issue that does not pose a threat to anyone else.

For people in the program, quitting drinking already has an enormous impact on their health both mentally and physically. Giving up alcohol can also help them significantly reduce the negative impact on their personal relationships, career and finances. For them smoking may seem like a minor problem compared to what they have been dealing with as a result of their alcohol problem for years of their lives.

AA in fact does briefly touch on issues of moderation in actions aside from alcohol use. Their overall belief is that moderation is best instead of irresponsible excess in behaviors not related to drinking. However, it is never directly suggested to members in AA that they should quit smoking.

Alcoholics in twelve step programs at times may make the decision to quit smoking on their own when they recognize in their own time that it is causing health problems. While AA may never fully address nicotine addiction, the principles that it teaches to members tend to encourage them to live a healthier life overall. Most AA members address their alcohol addiction first and then some may later focus on other aspects of their life such as eating better, exercising or quitting smoking.

AA remains solely devoted to issues of alcohol addiction rather than nicotine because members need the most help with this issue. Although nicotine addiction is a serious problem in the recovery community, there are separate programs such as nicotine anonymous that may be the best solution rather than AA.

The Effects of Growing Up in an Unstable Environment

The Effects of Growing Up in an Unstable Environment

Children need predictability and a nurturing, stable environment in order to develop emotionally. It is important for them to have a routine so that they know what to expect and have people that they can count on. Unfortunately many children must experience instability in their homes due to issues such as:

  • financial troubles
  • parental unemployment
  • addiction in a family member
  • divorce
  • remarrying
  • neglect
  • physical or verbal abuse

Children that grow up in single parent homes for example tend to have poorer mental and physical health overall than those that have both biological parents throughout their childhood.

Early childhood experiences can shape a person’s lifelong health and learning so it is crucial for young children to have as much stability as possible. An unstable environment can have a profound impact on a child’s feelings of security and their eventual transformation into an adult.

Impact of Poor Conditions and Neglect

Different types of instability can affect children in a variety of ways, usually damaging specific aspects of their health. For example, a study found that depriving children of a loving environment can cause them to have lower IQs and even stunted growth leading to a shorter stature. They also tended to have more behavioral and psychological problems than children that came from a more loving home.

The study was conducted on children in a Romanian orphanage that lived in deprived conditions and were found to be shorter than average. Amazingly, many of the children that were moved to foster homes experienced a growth spurt and even saw an increase in their IQ level.

Not all psychological issues were resolved by moving the children into better homes however, as many of them remained aggressive and confrontational due to their early experiences of neglect.

Scientists involved in the study also discovered that lack of social interaction had a negative impact on the children’s neural development which tended to be weaker when they were raised in poor conditions.

Growing Up with Divorce

Although many children are fortunate enough to grow up with both of their biological parents, divorce is an all too common problem that can have a tremendous effect on a child’s development. No matter what the age of the child, divorce is a major change in family life that can sometimes lead to the absence of a parent or switching between two different households.

Typically in younger children, divorce tends to intensify their dependence and cause a regressive response as they experience the unfamiliarity, instability and insecurity of their new parental situation.

Adolescents may behave in the opposite way becoming more independent and aggressive, often defying their parents following the divorce. The long term impact of divorce can result in issues of anxiety, depression and difficulty maintaining healthy relationships.

Financial Issues And Unemployment

Families that experience financial hardship may end up creating an unstable environment for a child who is not able to have material needs met. Low family income tends to negatively affect social-emotional, cognitive and academic abilities as children grow up.

Parental employment instability is also linked to poorer academic performance in children including problems with grade retention, lower educational attainment and internalizing or externalizing behaviors. Parents with lower academic achievement such as a high school education or less tend to have children who experience more problems with grade retention.

Job instability including job loss tends to have worse behavioral outcomes for children compared with situations in which a parent may voluntarily change jobs or has fluctuating work hours. A father’s job loss in dual income households tends to have more of a negative impact on children than a mother’s job loss.

Residential instability and the quality of homes and neighborhoods can also lead to worse academic and social outcomes for young elementary school children including poor social development.

Addiction and the Cycle of Abuse

Children who grow up in a household with an addicted parent tend to experience more neglect and abuse than in non-addicted families making them more inclined to have behavioral and social problems that continue into adulthood.

Exposure to drug use itself can also have a negative impact on children who are more likely to commit crimes or abuse substances as adults. Studies have shown a shocking number of currently detained prison inmates experienced abuse or witnessed addiction in their upbringing.

Children who grow up amongst drug abuse, alcoholism and criminal activity are more likely to join into these activities as they grow older. This creates a terrible cycle, especially for those who grow up in underprivileged neighborhoods and environments where drug use is more common. These children tend to remain “in the system” often ending up in prison when they become adults.

Any type of instability can have an impact on children but those who go through the worst levels of neglect and abuse often struggle to recover and live normal lives as adults.

Shia LeBeouf’s Arrest and Apology

Shia LeBeouf’s Arrest and Apology

Actor Shia LeBeouf recently took to Twitter to post a public apology following a drunken confrontation with police in Georgia over the weekend. He was arrested for suspicion of obstruction, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness. A video has circulated the internet in which LeBeouf goes on a tirade against the police even speaking in profanities and making racist comments to some of the officers at the station.

LeBeouf has been making headlines for some time with his bizarre public behavior and issues with drinking. In his Twitter apology he seems to have a desire to turn this pattern around saying “I have been struggling with addiction publicly for far too long, and I am actively taking steps toward securing my sobriety and hope I can be forgiven for my mistakes.” He also expressed shame for his behavior and his “disrespect for authority”.

Drunken Behavior and Aggression

The actor’s run in with the police took place on July 8th when he approached a bystander on an intersection asking for a cigarette. According to the police report, LeBeouf flew into a rage when he was not given a cigarette and began shouting vulgar language and profanity. An officer told him to leave the area and he refused, becoming disorderly and aggressive.

When the police officer attempted to arrest LeBeouf he ran to a nearby hotel but was eventually taken into custody in the lobby. He was taken to the police station and caught on camera saying that one of the police officers would go to hell “because he’s a black man”. LeBeouf apologized on Twitter to the officers, expressing regret for his behavior and gratitude for their restraint in dealing with his conduct.

Although LeBeouf was arrested and charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, he was eventually released on a $7,000 bond.

Past Issues with Alcohol and Arrests

This is by no means Shia LeBeouf’s first encounter with the police while intoxicated as the actor has been arrested multiple times in the last decade. In 2007 he was arrested for refusing to leave a Walgreen’s while intoxicated and in 2008 he had a DUI arrest after a car accident in which he injured his hand.

Le Beouf was also involved in a bar fight in 2011 and in 2014 he was arrested again for disorderly conduct at a performance of “Cabaret”. The actor was apparently smoking cigarettes, yelling at actors and swearing at security guards while inside a New York City theatre.  He faced multiple charges and eventually pled guilty to disorderly conduct but was able to make a deal with no jail time.

The next year he was arrested again in Austin, Texas for public intoxication and again in 2017 during his performance art project following President Trump’s inauguration. His project took place at the Museum of the Moving Image where he invited participants to film themselves saying “He Will Not Divide Us”. Outside museum he was arrested after he had yanked a man’s scarf, scratching his face and shoved him.

The art project was eventually shut down because it was said to have caused a volatile situation and public safety hazards. It was then moved to Albuquerque and eventually Liverpool to the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology.

LeBeouf’s Recovery and Relapse

Shia LeBeouf’s very public alcohol issues and outrageous behavior have led him to seek help for his addiction in the past. In 2014, the actor entered rehab following his arrest at the Broadway showing of “Cabaret”. After this incident he realized that his actions were part of a larger health problem and he decided to focus on recovery.

LeBeouf was part of an outpatient alcohol treatment program and spoke about his experiences in group therapy which he felt was similar to method acting. The actor managed to stay sober for some time although it unclear when he fell off the wagon and began drinking again.

He began getting involved in public drunken incidents again this year including blowing up at a bartender in Jerry’s Famous Deli in May. His most recent arrest is another example of how out of control his drinking and aggression have become again in spite of his efforts to become sober in the past.

Getting Sober Again

Although LeBeouf has clearly fallen off the wagon, his Twitter apology included an assertion that he would take steps to become sober again. It is not yet known whether he will enter another rehab program but he seemed contrite after his encounter with the police and wants to quit drinking. LeBeouf insisted that he has been “struggling with addiction publicly for far too long”. If the actor is able to go into recovery again he may finally leave behind his issues and avoid any more incidents with the police in the future.

Is It Harder To Stay Sober In The Summer?

Is It Harder To Stay Sober In The Summer?

The summer months are the time when most people take vacations, have plenty of parties or get togethers, and take day trips to the beach or lake. In summer most people normally relax and celebrate but for those in recovery it can be an especially hard time to stay sober. Events and activities like the fourth of July and summer parties mean there is plenty of booze around and a lot of opportunities to experience triggers and feelings of temptation. It may seem like there are more uncomfortable situations in summer and more times where a sober person feels left out. Instead of joining in on drinks with friends you have to watch from the sidelines and try to have a good time in spite of everything. In the midst of recovery, summer can be painful and in the worst cases it can be a danger to a person’s commitment to avoid alcohol. However, it is possible to live through summer while remaining sober and still have some fun with friends.

Staying in Touch with Goals

When you are in a situation where you feel like you wish you could join in on drinking it is a good time to think about why you made the decision to quit in the first place. Looking back on the reasons and events leading up to your recovery can help you stay in touch with your goal of being sober. If you think about how hard you have worked and what you have accomplished so far in recovery then it can help you reaffirm your commitment. Whenever you feel tempted to drink you can remember your struggles in the past and ask yourself if one beer is worth throwing all it away. An important thing to remember that can be easy to forget in the spur of the moment at a party is that for an addict it is not possible to have just one. Even have just one drink means that are off the wagon and it can quickly lead to a full relapse.

Attending a Support Group

Is summer seems especially hard, make an effort to go to more meetings and stay connected with the people in your support group. If you have a sponsor, tell them about the triggers you are experiencing at summer parties and ask them for help or advice. You can never have too many people supporting you when you are struggling with staying sober so take advantage of any resources you have. In your twelve step meetings you can talk to the group about how hard summer is for you and many of them may agree and share similar reactions. Being candid with others about your fears of relapse and feeling left out can keep those emotions from building up and becoming bigger. In your group you can talk about upcoming events that you are nervous about and they may have some insight into the best way to stay sober.

Choosing the Right People and Places

Even though you might feel obligated to attend every party or keep in touch with everyone who invites you to something, the most important thing to focus on is recovery. In many cases there may be certain people from your past that you should avoid especially if they are an old drinking buddy that is uncomfortable with or not supportive about your sobriety. Putting yourself in old situations, places or around people that you associated with binge drinking will make getting through the summer months more difficult. If you feel tempted to spend time in these situations try to analyze your motives and find out if it really is about connecting with friends or about wanting to drink again. There is nothing wrong with being honest and telling a friend that you don’t feel ready to be in a certain atmosphere yet. Try to choose activities and places where you will feel safe and comfortable as often as you can.

Getting Help from a Sober Friend

At times there will be certain events that you can’t avoid, and in this case the best option is to bring a friend from your recovery group who will act as your sober buddy. When you are with someone else who is in the same position that you are, the two of you can rely on each other to stay strong and provide support. With a sober friend there you can come up with a plan together on how to handle the party or activity if either of you feel tempted. Make sure that your friend will be comfortable in that environment too and that they are either farther along in their recovery or in a similar position. You can both talk to each other about the experience and leave early if it seems too stressful.

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